how is she?

2
votes

I have noticed that this sentence can have two meanings in Spanish.

how is she? - ¿cómo está ella?

how is she? - ¿cómo es ella?

Then "how is she?" is similar to "what is she like?". I mean, they can be used to ask about her personality. Is that? Are they interchangeable?

18868 views
updated ENE 16, 2010
edited by nila45
posted by nila45

11 Answers

4
votes

To say ¿cómo es ella? in english you say: What is she like? and ¿cómo está ella? you say: How is she? so the answer to your question is that they are not interchangable

updated ENE 16, 2010
posted by kenwilliams
simple and effective, great;)
3
votes

"How is she?" (refers to her health or state of mind) for example:

Q - How is your sister?

A - She's fine!......... she has a cold ............ she's depressed.......... etc

"What is she like?" (refers to her personality, her shape, her size etc) for example:

Q - What is your sister like?

A - She's a nice person ........... she's beautiful .......... she's 6 feet 3 with pink hair ..... etc

"How is she like" is not used.

Una cosita - decimos Is that it?

updated ENE 16, 2010
posted by patch
Is that it? sounds like Greek fo me. But, of course, you know how languages work. You have to learn some things by heart.
Nila - "it" = the "idea"......is that the idea? Is that it?
2
votes

And as an American I would question your teacher also. We would never ask "how is she" in referring to personality. Generally it would be used as questioning the health and state of mind of the individual as in a casual conversation, ie; "How is your mother?" or "How are your children?". Unless you were asking specifics such as "How is she in the kitchen?" or "How is she with children?" meaning what is her capablity in working in the kitchen or with children.

updated ENE 16, 2010
edited by Yeser007
posted by Yeser007
Also Nila, the fact that you have written it as a complete, albiet short sentence, the H should be capitalized as are any words beginning a sentence in English.
Okay, if the question was for the english then this is a good explanation. But english correction: ...used to question the health...
Or ...used for questioning... or ...used for asking about...
Yes, I agre.e and thanks for catching it. I'm going to leave it unedited for learning purposes
2
votes

It is because esta comes from estar and es comes from ser.

They both mean "to be" but estar is taking about transitive states of being (estoy feliz) and ser is talking about things that are always about that person (Soy una pelirroja).

So ¿cómo está ella? is how is she right now and ¿cómo es ella? is how is she all the time (what is she like).

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by Lasairfiona
Now that I have looked at your profile I realize that this may have come off as patronizing (she's fluent in spanish). I'm sorry; I did not understand your question.
2
votes

In English, "How is she?" would always correspond to "Cómo esta ella"

"Cómo es ella" would be translated as "What is she like?".

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by Jespa
1
vote

nd the other is ¿Cómo es ella? - How is she like?

Mediterruneo, the structure: How is she like does not exist to my knowledge, it has to be "What is she like"

updated ENE 16, 2010
posted by 00494d19
1
vote

If your choices are "How is she?" and "What is she like?" the former corresponds to "¿Cómo está (ella)?" and the latter to "Cómo es (ella)?" Since I am 100% certain that you have no problem/are familiar with the ser/estar disjunction ...

updated ENE 16, 2010
posted by samdie
1
vote

but one is ¿Cómo está ella? - How is she?

and the other is ¿Cómo es ella? - How is she like?

They are two different sentences in both languages

if you ask: ¿cómo está ella? you´re asking about her state of mind or her health, for instance, not about how does she looks like or what kind of person she is.

updated ENE 15, 2010
edited by mediterrunio
posted by mediterrunio
0
votes

Then...

how is she? can also mean "¿cómo es ella?. (personality).

Actually, I am insisting in that because a teacher said to me:

You use: how is she? when you are asking for a short descriptcion of the personality.

And you use: what is she like? when you are expecting a more detailed description of the personality.

And I was not completely sure about that.

updated ENE 16, 2010
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
0
votes

Thank you, now I am sure that "how are you?" cannot be used to ask about your personality. grin

updated ENE 16, 2010
posted by nila45
0
votes

Then....

how is she? = what is she like?. (To ask about personality)

And they are interchangeable in this context.

updated ENE 15, 2010
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
But, to me, 'How is she?' would always ask about state, not personality (I answered below before I saw your answer)